Office of Financial Empowerment
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Money for School/Types of Financial Aid Available

There are many types of financial aid available to people who want to attend college. Scholarships and assistance programs are often offered by the government, the school itself, as well as other organizations. Several programs are highlighted below. Be sure to take advantage of tax credits available to students or parents of students, as well.

Money for college that you DON'T
need to repay

Several financial aid programs do not require repayment. Money is often awarded based on merit (having good grades in school), special skill (e.g., being good at sports), belonging to certain groups (e.g., child of a union member), financial need or a combination of all.

Money for college that you DO
need to repay

College loans must be repaid. Government loans generally offer better interest rates and terms for repayment. Learn more about loans, including three quick tips about student loans


Federal Pell Grant Program - This is a need-based grant awarded to individuals with low incomes to attend college. To determine if you're eligible, you must file the FAFSA. To learn more about eligibility, visit the U.S. Department of Education's Federal Student Aid Web site.

Perkins Loan - The school you attend is the lender of a Perkins Loan. You have up to 10 years to repay the loan at a fixed 5% interest rate (a rate that is generally lower than most private loans). Your FAFSA determines your eligibility for this loan and students can borrow up to $4,000 each school year.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) - This is a grant for undergraduate students with exceptional financial need. Pell Grant recipients with lowest expected family contributions will be considered first for this grant. To learn more, visit the U.S. Department of Education's Federal Student Aid Web site.

Subsidized Stafford Loan - The lender is typically a bank, credit union or other private lender. The government helps pay the interest on the loan while you're in school, for the first six months after you leave school, and if you qualify to have your payments deferred (postponed). As of July 1, 2006, the interest rate is fixed at 6.8%. To learn more, click here


New York's Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) - This grant helps New York residents with low incomes pay for education at approved colleges in New York. To learn more about the program, visit Higher Education Services Corporation's (HESC) Web site.

Unsubsidized Stafford Loan - This loan is not need-based and you are responsible for paying the interest on the loan, including while you're in school. You can choose to pay the interest while you're in school or allow it to accumulate for repayment later. If you do the latter, the amount you have to repay increases. The interest rate is fixed at 6.8%. To learn more, click here


School scholarship and assistance programs - Schools have their own tuition assistance programs that are need-based (determined by your FAFSA), merit-based (determined by your grades) or a combination of both. Some schools even offer scholarships based on talent, such as sports scholarships. Scholarships do not have to be repaid. For more information about a school's scholarship and assistance programs, contact the school's financial aid office.


PLUS Loan - This is a common loan that parents apply for to pay for their child's college tuition. Parents can apply for the loan at most financial institutions. It is the parents' responsibility to repay the loan.

Third Party scholarship programs  - There are many scholarships available from private and nonprofit organizations. Different programs have different requirements that can include writing an essay, participating in community service work, having athletic talent, being a member of an underrepresented group, and more. To search a list of scholarships, visit the U.S. Department of Education's Federal Student Aid Web site.

WARNING: Be careful when submitting scholarship applications. Get quick tips from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on how to avoid scholarship scams



For more information on funding your or your child's education, visit the U.S. Department of Education's Federal Student Aid Web site.